We make money to feel secure and successful.
We save money to buy the house, send our children to college and retire.
When a relative gets sick is when we begin to think about trusts, wills, and executors.
As a society the primary focus has been on financial affairs. We are urged to not only achieve financial success but to keep all these affairs organized so that in case we died there would be a roadmap that led to the details on what is owned and what is owed and the primary contacts.
We follow this traditional course in life to get our financial house in order. Every step along this journey gives us peace of mind. We achieve incremental goals and feel good about our accomplishments. We strive for the brass ring and we achieve it. Now what?
Getting your house in order and having peace of mind extends far beyond your finances. Are there things still unsaid in your meaningful relationships? Just as your finances need to be continuously reviewed and updated, so do your personal relationships.
It became clear to me that meaningful relationships were an important component to real peace of mind. Exactly what does that mean? Simply said, it means not leaving things unexpressed whether by speaking, writing or whatever with everyone that has been important to you. It also means finding a way to save these expressions for future generations whether by letter, a digital voice recorder or even a video.
Just ask yourself these questions if you want to test your preparedness with regard to having your emotional house in order. First question, is there anyone alive who made a profound contribution to your life that you have not adequately expressed your gratitude toward, If so, do it. Do not wait to be chosen to deliver a eulogy when the person is unable to hear and appreciate your gratitude. One of the greatest benefits from my yearlong journey of gratitude was that I was able to express my deep gratitude to all, in my case 44 different people. It was only after completing these conversations that I was able to really achieve peace of mind.
The important point is that having your financial house in order and your relationship house in order are not mutually exclusive. They both can and need to be done to achieve the peace of mind that we ideally would like to have.
What is ironic is that our relationships are what we most value at the end of our lives. They require far less time to nurture and maintain then one’s finances. It has to be one of life’s biggest missed opportunities that our actions are often so inconsistent with our priorities.
What will it take to put your relationship house in order? A phone call, an afternoon together, a 44-cent stamp?